Loe shines, Texas wins

4-21-07 -- Matt Kata hit a three-run homer and Kameron Loe combined with four relievers on a shutout as the Texas Rangers beat the Oakland Athletics 7-0 on Saturday night and snapped a three-game losing skid.

In his first major league start since last June, Loe (1-0) allowed three singles, struck out five and walked one in 5 1-3 scoreless innings to help end the A's four-game winning streak. C.J. Wilson, Joaquin Benoit, Akinori Otsuka and Eric Gagne combined on 3 2-3 hitless innings to complete the shutout.

Mark Teixeira gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead with a single in the fourth inning, the third RBI this season for the All-Star first baseman. The Rangers added a run on Hairston's sacrifice fly in the seventh, and broke the game open with five runs in the eighth -- highlighted by Kata's three-run homer.

Hairston led off the bottom of the fourth with a walk, took off for second base as Ian Kinsler reached down for a low pitch and drove it past second baseman Mark Ellis, who was going to cover the base. Hairston hurdled the grounder and raced around to third. Teixeira's single against Joe Kennedy (0-2) then drove in Hairston.

The teams were coming off a game Friday when Oakland scored 16 runs. The two starting pitchers had a combined two major league starts since last June, so a high-scoring game seemed likely. Instead, Loe helped right a Texas pitching staff that had allowed 28 runs and 27 walks during the three losses.

Loe began last season in the Rangers' rotation, but a 5.86 ERA and a bruised elbow sent him to the minors after the All-Star break. He made his first five appearances this season out of Texas' bullpen, with a 0-0 record and 5.40 ERA.

Kennedy was similarly effective. In five innings, he gave up three hits and three walks while striking out five. He has pitched no more than six innings in three starts since returning to Oakland's rotation this season. Kennedy didn't give up a hit until Kinsler and Teixeira singled in the fourth.

After Loe left, Wilson pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam by striking out Eric Chavez and Milton Bradley.


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